Contrary to claims by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the shut Warri Refinery would soon come back on stream, findings have shown that this is not true.
Ripples Nigeria gathered that with the nature of collateral damage in the facility, it may not be able to reopen earlier than the middle of the third quarter of 2017, which is around September ending.
The reason is that an estimated $1.2 billion for its repair was not captured in neither the 2016 budget nor the 2017 Appropriation Bill, according to an official.
But at the just concluded Oil and Gas workshop, held in Abuja, on Thursday, Mr. Anibor Kragha, Chief Operating Officer, Refineries, of NNPC, told the gathering that the Warri Refinery was temporally shut down due to some technical issues surrounding its operations.
He confirmed that as a result, only the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries were working, though far below their installed capacities.
According to the NNPC senior official, “from the look of things before long, we expect the refinery back on stream because the two working refineries are producing about only a total 5 million litres of Automotive Gasoline Oil, AGO, as well as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Household Kerosene (HHK), which was about 7 million in January 2017 before the Warri facility went down.”
But investigations by Ripples Nigeria has revealed that though the extent of damage in the dysfunctional unit had been recorded, it would entail having foreign experts to fix, and given the amount involved, the Federal Executive Council’s consent would be required.
The official, who spoke to Ripples Nigeria in confidence revealed that the fault in the gas turbine was first detected in 2016, but the information from government that it was about to put up its refineries for sale stalled the repair works, until February when President Muhammadu Buhari directed that none of the refineries be sold.
He said:“Full details of what is to be done has been taken by officials of General Electric, but lack of funds is holding down the work.
“Even the Port Harcourt Refinery, which said to be on full stream is not delivering according to its full capacity.”
But NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamdu, said all efforts were being put in place to fix the part that is bad, adding that it may not take more than March to achieve that, all things being equal.
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